Volunteerism key to ending insecurity in Nigeria – Foundation

Umahi legacy

 



By Chimezie Godfrey

The Free Light of Nigerian Youth Foundation (FLONY) says volunteerism is key to ending insecurity in Nigeria.

Speaking Thursday in Abuja at the Opening Ceremony of the National Roundtable on Volunteerism for Peace and National Stability organized by the Foundation, security.with the theme “Peace & Unity, A Panacea for Better Nigeria” the Director General, National Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr Bakut Bakut stressed the need for empowering Nigerian youths to volunteer for national peace and security.

Represented by Dr. Joseph Ochogwu, he said considering the level of insecurity that the country has expressed in recent times there is now need to support the youths to volunteer in helping government tackle the menace of insecurity in the country.

Dr Bakut therefore declared that volunteering though a new concept in the fight against insecurity, is the key to surmounting security challenges that has bedeviled the nation.

He said,”It is imperative to speak on the premise that whether we like or not as human beings, we are naturally volunteers. It depends on what you are volunteering for, but you know we are gathered here because we are discussing the issues of peace and stability.

“I will not speak so much on the kind of experiences we have gone through as a nation because we are all part and parcel of the society and the level of insecurity and instability that affects you and I. Is important to know that a volunteer is person of a person of any age. who dedicates his or her ideas, knowledge equal time, attention, movable and immovable properties to beneficiaries that is making sure that society benefits from it.

“A volunteer utilizes his physical potential, time, knowledge, abilities, talents, and experience to helping other people and organisation of community in specific projects and expects no financial benefit in return.

“So you can imagine for example, if you have 20% of Nigerians and are committed to volunteer to empower the youths to produce some of these things that we are seeing today, it will take a lot of people off the tracks of violence in terms of Almajiri, in terms of violent people who are bandits, who are insurgents, who are consistently being recruited, and that is why we are joining hands to employ, to urge as many Nigerians that have the means and wherewithal to join now in this very noble projects.

“You know empowering our youths to volunteer , to stand on their own and to volunteer for the right thing. So, volunteering in terms of how we conduct volunteerism is an expression of concern about something or somebody other than oneself. That is once you volunteer, is à selfless service that you are already connecting with the socuety to solve societal problems.

“The level of insecurity we face in Nigeria today is such that each and everyone of us should about how to to free the country of insecurity. When you go through Borno and hear hear of the CJTF, CJTF are a group of volunteers, men and women, young boys, young girls who have volunteered to say no, we will support the military to put an end to issues of terrorism in our society. Am sure you are all aware of the exploits of CJTF in Borno state as well as even those in Adamawa state and other parts of the country.

“So, what we are saying is that volunteerism is key and significant to us in putting to an end our security challenges.”

In his address, the National Coordinator, FLONY, Dr Lanre Adebayo said the roundtable is part of the Foundation’s contribution to advance peace and national stability in the country, adding that the programme is coming especially at a time when the World Day of Peace which was officially marked on September 21, 2022.

Adebayo noted that the youth is a critical element in any effort to ensure peace because they are often a willing instrument in the process of creating crisis.

He therefore urged the government to expand their investments in building the capacity of Nigerian youths.

“It is no coincidence that this Roundtable is being organised today. While our Foundation joins the entire World to mark this important day, it cannot be overemphasised that the youth is a critical element in any effort to ensure peace because they are often willing instrument in the process of creating crisis.

“We urge the Federal and State Governments in the Country to expand their investments in building the capacity of our youths especially acquiring necessary skills and capacities that will make them, not only to be gainfully employed but to enhance their ability to create the condition for sustainable peace and development of the Country.

“The Free Light of Nigerian Youth Foundation was established primarily to contribute to these national efforts. A vision of a great Nigerian Lady and a Princess of Adamawa, Princess Farida Musa Jauro, the Foundation has, since its establishment in 2020 made phenomenal contribution to build the capacity of our Youths. The sole purpose of the Foundation is to impact positively in the lives of the people without regard to national limitations. Indeed, it has reached out to youths in neighbouring Niger Republic.

“It has undertaken skills development activities in the following areas; Bag making, Shoe making, Ladies Make-up, Preparation of local juice, and Computer training.

“It has trained over fifteen thousand youths in various skills. It begun in the North Eastern part of the Country and has continued to expand to other parts of the Country. I wish to request for support and partnership from the Nigerian Government, foreign donor organisations, and individuals in pursuance of its noble goals.

“I wish to emphasise the commitment of the Foundation to peace and national stability. Indeed, we are working together with our Sister Organisation, Institute for Governance and Leadership Studies in Africa to organise more elaborate training on Volunteering for Nigerian Youths. The two organisations have also designed a Leadership Mentoring Training Programme for emerging Leaders in the Country,” he said.

Also speaking, the Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy, Mr. Li Xuda, commended the Foundation for the initiative, adding that it is of special significance to hold national dialogue on peace, security and youth empowerment.

Xuda pointed out that in Chinese traditional culture, people uphold the concept of harmony, adding that it is generally accepted that harmony is the most important traditional value facilitating personal growth, social progress and country’s development.

He said,”On this beautiful day in Nigerian rainy season, we’re so happy to see so many friends from all walks of life gathering here at Nigerian Army Resource Centre.

He said,”On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I warmly congratulate the opening of “National Dialogue on Peace, Security and Youth Empowerment”

“We are in a situation of great changes unseen in a century, facing many traditional and new challenges. The world is a big family, no country can stay out of it and develop quickly as an isolated island. With this international background, it is of special significance to hold “National Dialogue on Peace, Security and Youth Empowerment” with the theme “Peace & Unity, A Panacea for Better Nigeria”!

“As for Peace & Unity, I want to share with you some information about what we are doing this year. In the beginning of 2022, H. E. Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Cui Jianchun proposed an initiative called “Sharing Chinese Harmony & Performing Nigeria-China Symphony”. Here I would like to take this opportunity to give you a brief introduction to this initiative. In Chinese traditional culture, people uphold the concept of harmony, it is generally accepted that harmony is the most important traditional value facilitating personal growth, social progress and country’s development. As to “Performing Nigeria-China Symphony”, I want to say that the word “Symphony” is used as a metaphor for win-win cooperation between Nigeria and China.

“As the level of citizens and nature, we advocate kindness and harmony and do hope to achieve the goal “Harmony in Coexistence”. Both Nigeria and China have abundant human resources and vast natural resources. Guiding, encouraging, educating, and supporting everyone to be kind,
and respecting, adapting to and protecting nature are the prerequisites for performing Nigeria-China Symphony.

“As the level of family and society, we advocate happiness and friendliness and do hope to achieve the goal “Harmony in Integration”. Happiness and Friendliness are the foundation of social stability. Building a stable and harmonious society is the basic guarantee for performing Nigeria-China Symphony.

“As the level of nation and culture, we advocate unity and concordance and do hope to achieve the goal “Harmony in Diversity”. There are 56 ethnic groups in China and 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria. The ethnic groups yearn for harmony and cultural fusion. Promoting unity and concordance between nation and culture is the real value of performing Nigeria-China Symphony.”

He added,”As the level of country and governance, we advocate peace and consonance and do hope to achieve the goal “Harmony in Development”. Both the Chinese Dream and the Nigerian Dream are dreams of peace, development, win-win cooperation. While performing Nigeria-China Symphony, we can really enjoy the melody of the times through promoting world peace and improving the level of our countries’ governance.

“From what I just say, we can fully understand that it is very timely and meaningful for our Nigerian friends to hold such an event at this time. In my opinion, Peace & Unity is a panacea not only for Nigeria, but also for all other countries in the world. Without peace, there is no national and social development, and there is no personal success and happiness. Unity is very critical, as we are aware, “United, We Stand; Divided, We Fall”.

“Therefore, before concluding my message, I want to emphasize that youth is the future of the country, youth empowerment leads to the development and prosperity of a country. I do hope youth from all the countries around the world stand together, get united so that each of us can live in a world full of peace and love.”

The Chairman House Committee on Poverty Alleviation, Abdullahi Salami stressed that youth empowerment and their active participation in the governance process is key to the future.

He said there is need for policy makers to support volunteerism in the effort to tackle the various security challenges confronting the country.

Salami also urged the youths not to allow themselves influenced by negative influence to do evil in the society, adding that volunteerism for peace and national security is what the country needs now, while equally encouraging the youths to be steadfast in alll their endeavours.

The Chairman of the Occasion, His Highness the Emir of Kano, Alh. Ado Bayero was represented by Sanusi Aminu Bayero, while the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps,NSCDC, was represented by SC. David Adeniran.